Why is RSS great? A pitch by the Open Standards Project

From the beginning, podcasting used the open RSS system for distribution. RSS enables any audio app to present podcasts in any kind of directory system. It’s an open, unowned protocol. But when the most popular podcast in the U.S. (The Joe Rogan Experience, according to Edison Research) is purchased by one of the most popular listening apps in the world (Spotify), the door slams shut on RSS. Justin Jackson, a founder of Transistor.FM, posted a detailed advocacy for RSS. Continue Reading


Planet Money podcast started a record label, and now has a hit

Last October the Planet Money podcast announced that it was starting a record label — with one song: “Inflation” by Earnest Jackson. The song was independently released 47 years previously, but failed to reach any kind of “hit” status. Planet Money thought current economic conditions warranted a re-release, and also wanted to learn about the economics of the music business, so the podcast crew put the song on Spotify. Now it’s a hit. Continue Reading


“Synthetic Stories” — an AI-generated podcast launches and makes us think of AI audiobooks.

Synthetic Stories is a new podcast, and the first podcast (as far as we know) produced entirely by Artificial Intelligence (AI). That includes the script, the sound design, the music composition, the artwork, the voice performance, and the promotional materials accompanying the release. The presentation reminds us of synthetically produced audiobooks; we check on Apple’s progress with that. All these example are persuasive … a threat to performers, and a potential cost-cutting option to producers. Continue Reading


NPR completes promised layoffs, discontinues four podcasts in “existential” cost reduction

A month after announcing upcoming layoffs, NPR has started and possibly completed the 10% workforce reduction. CEO John Lansing calls the action “existential.” The action is NPR’s largest layoff since 2008. Four podcasts will be discontinued. Individual and departmental targets are not specified, but it’s a broad sweep across many functions and types of work. NPM is not affected. Click for more details. Continue Reading

Edison Research identifies top podcasts by reach, in topical breakdown

Edison Research has launched an informative series of blog posts in which top podcasts in different topical categories are identified, according to reach. This project skims the top layer of Edison Podcast Metrics, a subscription product. “The Monday after the Academy Awards seems like the perfect time to look at podcasts in some entertainment genres,” Edison observes. Continue Reading

Apple, YouTube bask in Podnews Report Card

Results of the Podnews Report Card survey have been released, following a first view at Podcast Movement Evolutions. In that entertaining keynote session performed by Podnews editor James Cridland (amusingly interrupted by a faux DAI-inserted commercial), we learned how Podnews-reading podcasters rate distribution apps, directories, and monetization platforms. Click through for results. Continue Reading

NPR podcasts are now part of Spotify’s SPAN marketplace, keeping the distinctive NPR promo sound

In an announcement timed  to coincide with last week’s Podcast Movement Evolutions conference, NPR has joined the Spotify Audience Network (SPAN), adding one of the world’s most listened-to catalogs to the streaming giant’s podcast monetization platform. It is the first time NPR has gone beyond its direct-sold advertising to work with a partner. Spotify will monetize unsold inventory, NPR told RAIN, and retain NPR’s trademark sponsorship sound. Click for more detail. Continue Reading